Go ahead, take away my Man Card

image Men have codes. We have a LOT of codes. And the funny thing is, for a gender that has, historically at least, been maligned as little more than sex-starved warmongers, most of our codes involve things like chivalry and bravery and good stuff like that.

But, if I’m being honest, we do have codes about sex and war, so there is some fact at the bottom of all that history.

At night, I have a routine. Once the kids are in bed, I get myself cleaned up, check my e-mail and then I usually retire to bed with CareerMom where we lie in bed and watch TV (unless we have other things on our minds). Most of the time, CareerMom is good about letting me watch what I want to watch because, unless we’re engaged in witty banter, she’s usually asleep within 30 minutes anyway. So the few times that she does actually want to watch something, I give in.

And that’s how I started watching “The Bachelor” this season.

Yeah, I know, I know. Don’t start with me guys!

To be honest, there are things about this show that redeem themselves, such as the 25 beautiful women walking around all dolled up for the first few episodes. But, as time goes on, and the Bachelor sends them home one by one, the eye candy dwindles and you’re left watching some young stud try and woo these women using all of his charms.

Now one of the codes we men have revolves around how we married guys rally behind our single brethren. At the risk of sounding like a pig, it’s a bit of a “living vicariously through another” thing. Sure, I may be happily married, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate watching a master at work. Heck, I bet even Bob Ross would have appreciated watching, oh I don’t know…what’s that “Painter of Light” guy’s name?

Anyway, I’ve been mentally giving this year’s Bachelor a “You go BOY!” as he cut the list of ladies down to these last three; but last night, I must say I lost all respect for the guy. Even followers of “The Code” have a line and that line involves marriage. When you get down to the nitty gritty and you start talking marriage, then I think you have to stop and re-evaluate your actions and perhaps adopt the “other code” that we married men follow.

The Married Man’s Code:

My wife is my best friend. Her trust I shall not betray. Daily, I am tempted, but my promise is stronger than any temptation. I can look, discreetly, but I shall not touch. I respect my wife and I will not disrespect either her, or her memory, in the presence of others.

There’s more to it, but we sort of make it up as we go.

But this Bachelor guy, he’s a piece of work. Now granted, so much of this show is manufactured that it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. But what IS obvious, is that this guy is a couple of dates away from asking a girl to marry him, and he’s spending the night, in the same room, with three different women. Even I can’t get behind that.

But I think what clinched it for me last night was when the second woman asked him the question: “Your house is on fire. What one thing would you grab as you ran out the door.”

I’ll pause here and ask you this question. What would you grab? Well, I’ll tell you that the first thing that came to my mind was, “my son.”

What did our Bachelor say? “My Air Jordan tennis shoes” or something like that.

I’m sorry, did you just say that you’d grab your shoes over your child? And this is after making a huge deal about family and how important they are. And while I’m bustin’ on this guy, here’s my other complaints:

  • Do you own anything other than a dark sweater and jeans? These ladies are dressed to the hilt for you and you have on your Levis.
  • OK, so you have a BA in Psychology. Still, quit staring at the girls like they are bugs. It makes them nervous and then they just start gabbing and saying stupid stuff, which you should know.

I can only imagine how the parents of these girls feel as they watch this guy, who their daughter is in love with, close the blinds on his love-nest with another women. Sheesh.

There is another code I’ve yet to mention and it goes something like this:

“R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me….”

Real Men Don’t Need Kits

Carving pumpkins is not easy, unless you’re Bob Ross, who I imagine could carve a pumpkin in his sleep while dreaming of “happy places” with tree lined streams and snowy mountains.

We never carved pumpkins when I was a kid, so I don’t have a high water mark set by my father that I have to try and top when it comes to carving pumpkins. But with all the hype around it, and with the plethora of pumpkin carving utensils on the market, you’d think that any schmuck (can I use that word if I’m not Jewish?) could carve a decent pumpkin, thereby reaching new heights of hero worship with his kids.

“Not so!” says the wise man whose wife has been outta town for five days now…

When I was at Old Tyme Pottery earlier this season, I happened upon a pumpkin carving kit, complete with little pinhole saws for cutting those intricate corners, a scoopy thing to pull out the punkin guts, and some paper templates and glue to guide you on your way to punkin carving greatness! Now, I’ve never used a kit before, but I’ve always wanted to. In my mind, after using this kit, I’d be able to turn out one of those Award Winning Pumpkins like you see on TV.

So I bought it and I have been waiting impatiently for the day when I could whip them out and bust a move on a wary punkin; but alas, it was not to be.

See, what I didn’t reckon on, was that the tools that came with the kit, were made of microscopically thin pieces of sheet metal that snap at the slightest pressure. The very act of trying to cut horizontally, completely broke off both of the pinhole saws that came with the kit:

Pumpkin carving kit

And that little scoop thing…was made for little hands and not for the adults who will actually be carving the pumpkin!

So…after snapping off the second saw, while trying to talk on the phone with CareerMom to catch her up on all the cutesie things the boys have done this week, AND while trying to throw the ball for the dogs to give them some exercise, while ALSO trying to keep MLE from stomping in the bowl of pumpkin guts, I finally had to just put everything down and STEP AWAY from the pumpkin!

When I was finally able to again focus on the task at hand, I realized that sometimes, a man has just got to be a man. With that, I ordered the boys (and dogs) to stay put, while I went to the basement and got out the old standby pumpkin carving tool:

Real Man Saw

If you look closely, you can still see pieces of pumpkin on the blade.

In addition to being just “the bomb” for carving holes in pumpkins, it’s also wicked looking, which gives me additional “cool” points with my kids!

It’s not so good for detail work though, which means that all I was able to do last night was the regular pumpkin face.

For the really cool pumpkin design we have planned, I might have to bring out the big gun:


Don’t laugh till you’ve tried it. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a saw shredding through the soft flesh of a pumpkin at high RPMs!

That sounded kinda creepy…